Saturday, April 30, 2005

You've just got to take that chance!

Well… as you know, I took the chance and submitted a short article to a magazine.

What happened you ask? The short story is that I got an email back from the editor saying she liked it and was planning on using it in their September 2005 issue. Further, she said that now she’d had the opportunity to see my writing style… what other article ideas did I have? Needless to say, I'm stoked!!!

So taking chances, in this case at least, was worth every second of the effort and anxiety.

It has me thinking however about that, taking chances, and trying to remember a time where Id taken a chance, and actually regretted doing so. I can’t remember one. I have regrets, some anyway, but each of those seems to center around a chance I did NOT take.

A friend of mine once said to me: “You’ve quit more jobs, good jobs, than most people will ever have a chance at.” I thought about that then and think about it still, from time to time… and he was right, I have. I think though, that every change was ultimately for the better. That it was for the better was not always immediately evident, and on more than a few occasions I found myself seriously considering going back to the ‘old place’ and begging for my job back… I just never did.

That’s pretty much the direction of my life, moving forward, nearly always, with an occasional glance back over my shoulder.

Let’s take the most recent change… Last July my employer of 11 years and I parted company. I’ve said, on several occasions, that it was a mutual agreement. It is in fact a mutual agreement as I have it in writing! The bottom line though is that they didn’t want me there any longer. Maybe they’d realized I’d left already in my mind, that my heart just wasn’t in it any more, or maybe they were simply tired of having me around.. for whatever reason, we split, and they initiated that split.

I found myself searching for a new direction, and my wife bless her heart, managed to listen to all my wild ideas without saying much more than “I have faith in you, whatever you decide”. The ideas ranged from opening a “hot-rod” shop to a commercial software company, to buying into a franchise of some sort, to opening a landscaping (mowing lawns) company.

I was all over the map.

One thing I have always enjoyed though, was contract programming… and little by little, the phone started to ring… A short little project here, another one there, never anything substantial, but enough to keep the bills paid. Then last November, right before Thanksgiving I had to choose between two opportunities, one a solid six month gig, with a possible extension, working for an arrogant type individual… and a short 6 WEEK gig at a place where I had really liked the interview and the people I’d met.
I took the one I liked… I took a chance that; 1) it would be over in 6 weeks and 2) there wouldn’t be any more work to immediately follow it.

Looking back now, had I taken the first project, I would have missed out on the best project I’ve ever been on. Not to mention the project manager asked me last week if I’d like to work through the end of the year!

Had I not taken this path, I may not have had the time to look into getting an article published, write the article or be sitting here with it about to be published!

Life is all about taking chances. We take a chance with nearly everything we do. I’ve tried, and continue to work at, taking the chances that interest me the most. So far I don’t regret a single chance I’ve taken, even the ones that haven’t turned out at all like I thought they would!

So take a chance, be bold, follow your dreams and dream BIG! I doubt you’ll ever be disappointed!

I’ll try to write more about things turning out differently than I’d anticipated, tomorrow.


Nic said...

I agree with you 100%. I resigned my good paying job b/c of my family. I wasn't going to allow work to come first. Now I will be starting an excellent job that is right up my alley. It is an opportunity that I would not have had if I hadn't the faith to step off the ledge and take that first step. Thanks for stopping by my blog. :) I'm so excited I've been listed on someone's favorites! Hee!

Braleigh said...

I...have no career. I always do admire those who choose family first, however.

Immense respect for those who choose family first.

I am so honoured to be mentioned as one of your favourite blogs :D:D:D

Bill said...

Thanks for the kind words!

nic: I'm glad that taking the chance paid off for you! Hopefully it'll lead you to continue to follow your dreams and your heart, as well as continue to reward you for doing so!

Braleigh: Your's was the first blog I started to read regularly, I liked it then and still do!

As for the no job thing... you're in school, it's a job all on its own and requires every bit as much work and dedication as any job.

You have a lifetime of work in front of you, enjoy the now... you'll have plenty of work/jobs in the future!

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